THE CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER ENGAGES THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
The Canadian High Commissioner – Her Excellency Kati Csaba on Wednesday December 8, 2021, paid a courtesy call on the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police (IGP) – Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula, at his George Street office in Freetown.
In her engagement with the IGP, the High Commissioner was keen to know about the process of women’s participation in the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the strategies the IGP has put in place to either mitigate or eradicate the alarming increase in sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) offences in the country.
In response, the IGP asserted that the SLP has achieved a lot in terms of pushing for equitable women’s participation in the organisation; noting, that the current Deputy Inspector General of Police is a woman.
He also spoke about recent promotions of women and their appointments to various top management positions in the SLP.
“I have increased the deployment of women in peacekeeping operations and I will make sure I increase on the greatness of women in the SLP in order to make them greater”; adding, that ‘what men can do, most times women can do better’.
“I will continue to increase their participation at the strategic leadership level”, Dr. Sovula assured.
Furthermore, the IGP stressed that in recent years, women in the SLP benefitted and still continue to benefit from accelerated promotions; as a way of increasing their inclusion and participation at all levels of management.
Addressing issues of capacity building for women, IG Sovula referenced numerous training packages women in the SLP had benefited from including the Strategic Leadership and Command Courses held in Nigeria.
On women’s passion to enlist into the SLP, Dr. Sovula confirmed that, of recent, lots of graduate women have shown passion for policing and that the organization has seen a steady increase in the number of women enlisting into the Force; adding, that more had already applied to be recruited for the next round of recruitment which is due in 2022.
On the issue of increase in the number of reported cases of SGBV, the IGP affirmed that this could be attributable to strong laws which are now in place to protect victims and to also fight the menace. Stressing that strategies like witness protection, confidentiality of victims’ information are also encouraging people to come out and report cases of SGBV without fear of being victimised.
He further attributed the increase in reported cases of SGBV to sustained and consistent awareness raising and sensitization campaigns on SGBV offences and the assurances the Police and other supporting institutions keep instilling on the people. The IGP assured of a decline in SGBV reports, going forward.
On the ability of the SLP to police the 2023 elections, he affirmed that his management will continue to sharpen the skills of personnel by continuously engaging in election specific trainings. This, he noted, will help to capacitate the Police to provide the required security for a free, fair and credible Election.
In concluding, he appealed for continuous local and international support to enable the Force engage in massive capacity building initiatives for women in particular and the wider Force in general.
SLP MEDIA TEAM